We spoke with Jim Buchheim and Mark Rothwell of American Family Insurance, offered some insight on grants for sports nonprofits, ran down the top plays in sports philanthropy, as well as brought you new MVPs in this month's edition.
Grants for Sports Orgs
founder & ceo
charitable ticket network
As CEO/Founder of the Charitable Ticket Network, Nicholas Luczyszyn is passionate about bringing families together through sports. He believes that sporting events are unique emotional experiences that bond families together and create a memory that last a lifetime. While planning a corporate event at a Philadelphia Soul game, he saw his first opportunity to donate extra tickets to Philadelphia families through the Eagles Youth Partnership. Seeing firsthand that the children’s joy sitting in the club box, eating chicken fingers, and going on a behind the scenes tour of the Wells Fargo Center, his mission was born. He started his non-profit in 2016, committed to working with teams, businesses and season ticket holders to use their unused tickets to create lasting, measurable impacts in the underserved community. By providing tickets, transporation, and food for families through the Gameday 360 program, Nick is able to ensure that fmailies have an expense-free, stress-free day. Over the last two years, the Charitable Ticket Network has served 2,600 people in the Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore market. Nick is currently looking to expand into other markets and bring on new program partners.
senior manager, community development
Liz Mannis is the Senior Manager of Community Development for the Denver Broncos Football club. Mannis is entering her sixth season working for the Broncos and one of her primary responsibilities in the department is player engagement in the community – including engagement through the team and on their own time. In 2018, Broncos players have already contributed more than 550 hours of community service, a 15% increase above involvement at the same time last year, largely due to Mannis’s engagement strategy. Mannis is a proponent for empowering Broncos players to use their platform as an agent for social change and she makes meaningful connections with players to help align them with their interest areas and vetted non-profit organizations.
Prior to her role as the Senior Manager of Community Development, she served a myriad of roles with the team, including as a Community Development Assistant and Media Relations Intern. In addition to her work with the Broncos, Mannis served as the PR Coordinator for the Denver Outlaws. In her free time, Liz can be found volunteering with the Denver Broncos Boys & Girls Club and Playworks Colorado, or exploring Denver (and it’s food scene!) with her friends. Liz Mannis received her Master in Sport Management from the University of Texas-Austin and her BS in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University.
chicago red stars
Stephanie McCaffrey is a professional soccer player for the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League. She graduated from Boston College in 2015, where she was a four-year women's soccer letter winner and captained the team during her senior year. The Massachusetts native also spent time playing with the World Cup Champion United States Women's National Soccer Team in 2015 and 2016. In the community, she is the founder of Hidden Gems Soccer, an organization dedicated to connecting girls soccer teams in underserved communities with NWSL athletes. The goal of Hidden Gems is to aid youth and non-profit girls soccer programs in both low-income and urban areas to increase socio-economic diversity in the sport. With programming in both Houston and Chicago, NWSL athletes have connected with young players from underprivileged backgrounds to build confidence and promote the sport of soccer. Stephanie and other players meet at camp sessions to run question and answer sessions, tell their stories, and share the obstacles they face. Stephanie also coached and spoke at a summer camp hosted by America SCORES Chicago as a part of Laureus’s Chicago Sport for Good launch. Sport for Good represents a long-term commitment to improving the lives of underserved youth in Chicago through the power of sport – a mission that Stephanie clearly embodies through her ongoing commitment to serving youth in the community.
Abby Breseman is originally from Door County, Wisconsin, where growing up in a small town meant that sports were a major part of her life ever since she could remember. Knowing that she wanted sports to be a part of her future career, she graduated from Lake Forest College in 2012 with a degree in Biology and a minor in Spanish so that she could attend graduate school for Athletic Training. During the summer after her first year of graduate school at Saint Louis University, she obtained an internship working with the Philadelphia 76ers youth summer basketball camps. While working at Sixers Camps, Abby was able to gain insight into working in the professional sports industry and began to rethink her career path as an Athletic Trainer. After completing her Master’s Degree in 2014 (and having some fun conversations with her parents), Abby decided to change directions and switch from the medical side of sports over to the business side of sports. Abby returned to Philadelphia to spend another summer working at Sixers Camps and to learn more about working in the professional sports industry. It was during that summer that she was introduced to community relations and discovered her true passion.
Abby began working as an intern in the Community Relations department at the Sixers in September of 2016, and after three months, was hired on full-time as a Community Relations Coordinator and then Sr. Coordinator a little over a year later. In these positions, she managed all community relations events, both in-arena and in the community, and was also in charge of the Community Assist ticket donation program, player autograph sessions, donation requests, and the Sixers employee volunteer program.
After two seasons with the Sixers, she decided to return home to Wisconsin to pursue a sports career in Milwaukee. There, she worked with The Specialized Marketing Group, Inc. (TSMGI) as an Account Executive in their sports marketing department. In this position, Abby managed the day-to-day coordination of the partnership between the Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers and a major healthcare system in the area. She enjoyed being able to experience a new side of the professional sports industry, working closely with the Bucks and Brewers Partnership Activation teams to plan community events and in-game recognitions for the client.
Abby recently relocated to Chicago, IL to work remotely for a public relations firm and is looking forward to becoming more involved in the community of Chicago. When she's not at work, Abby enjoys spending time with her Mini Goldendoodle, Wally, exploring the city, playing in sports leagues, volunteering, and continuing to look for ways to utilize the power of sport as a vessel for positive change in the lives of those who need it most.